Southern Son: Book One of the Saga of Doc Holliday

Southern Son
The name Doc Holliday conjures images of the Wild West and the shootout at the OK Corral, but before he was a Western legend he was a Southern son, born in the last days of the Old South with family links to Gone With the Wind. Now this amazing story is told for the first time in The Saga of Doc Holliday. 

The story begins with Southern Son, set during the turbulent times of the American Civil War, as young John Henry Holliday welcomes home his heroic father and learns a terrible secret about his beloved mother.  His only confidant is his cousin Mattie, the childhood sweetheart who shares his memories of plantation life and better days before the War.  But Mattie isn’t around to comfort him when tragedy strikes and John Henry’s young hero-worship turns to bitter anger.

As the Confederacy falls, John Henry becomes a troubled teenager and joins in with a gang of vigilantes trying to chase the Reconstruction Yankees out of their small Georgia town.  But when a murderous plot brings threats of military prison, he vows to change his reckless ways and leaves Georgia to attend dental school in Philadelphia, hoping to come home as a respected professional man worthy of asking for his cousin Mattie’s hand.

But as he returns from two years in the Yankee north to begin dental practice in Atlanta, he finds his courtship beset with challenges.  There are family intrigues, lies and revelations, rivals for Mattie’s affections, and a violent encounter that changes everything.

Southern Son is the first novel in an epic tale of heroes and villains, dreams lost and found, families broken and reconciled, of sin and recompense and the redeeming power of love.

Southern Son Watch the Trailer or Read a Chapter

Cast of Characters

Southern Son Cast of Characters   Meet the people of Southern Son 

(Photo: John Henry Holliday b. August 14, 1851)

Photo Album

Doc Holliday Valdosta Holliday House   See the places in Southern Son

Family Tree

Doc Holliday Family Tree   Trace Doc Holliday’s family connections



Doc Holliday Maps   Doc Holliday’s Georgia, 1870’s
Scarlett O’ Hara’s Atlanta, 1860’s The world of Gone With the Wind was also Doc Holliday’s world.

The Music of Southern Son

The story of Southern Son is full of references to the music of the time.  Some of those songs are listed below.   Although the images on these YouTube videos are not mine, the songs evoke the spirit and story of Doc Holliday’s world. Enjoy!

The Water is Wide
Amazing Grace
Liebestraume” (Song of Love)
Abide With Me

For Further Reading

While my own background reading filled entire bookcases, I can recommend the following for those interested in reading more about John Henry Holliday and the world of Southern Son.

Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend, Dr. Gary L. Roberts, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005

In Search of the Hollidays: The Story of Doc Holliday and his Holliday and McKey Families, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. and Susan McKey Thomas, Lowndes County (Georgia) Historical Society, 2008

The Irish Roots of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, David O’Connell, Claves & Petry, Ltd., 1996

Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell, Anne Edwards, Dell Publishing, 1984

Southern Honor: Ethics & Behavior in the Old South, Bertram Wyatt Brown, Oxford University Press, 1982

Reading Group Questions

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